In the past, workers didn’t have rights and were taken advantage of. We are fortunate we live in a time when there are protections and laws in place to ensure that doesn’t happen. However, there are times when workers are still taken advantage of and need advocates or support.
When a person is fearful of losing their job because they don’t think they will be able to survive without it, they become more tolerable to working in an environment they don’t like. They can find themselves being mistreated by their employers because they are afraid of losing their job if they confront them about the situation. Some employers see this fear as an opportunity to take advantage of their workers. When companies take advantage of their employees, they are doing so to save profits. They sometimes take advantage by not paying their employees what they deserve, overworking them, not giving them credit for their work and treating them unfairly.
Working people in America have legal rights to fair conditions at work. However, many employers violate these rights because they value their profits more than their workers. America, especially New York, is more diverse than ever. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on ethnicity, national origin or race. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was passed in 1990, prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment. Such disabilities include physical and mental impairment that substantially limits life activities. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 or older from employment discrimination based on age. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful for an employer to hire, fire, layoff or give better compensation based on a worker’s age.
How to Tell If You Are Being Exploited By Your Employer
A major way employers take advantage of their employees is to pay their employees minimum wages to work long exhausting hours. Some employers will pay less than they think an employee deserves. Employers sometimes exploit their employees by requiring them to work very long shifts with very few breaks. Employees are sometimes forced to work several consecutive days without any days off. Due to these working conditions, employees are often very tired, lethargic, sick, stressed out and even depressed. The reason why most companies exploit their employees is that they know they are afraid to quit and will allow the exploitation to happen. An employee should never allow any employer to exploit them, and they should not work for an employer out of fear.
ACLU and AFL-CIO
If you feel that you are being exploited at work and if you are a victim of any kind of discrimination, it is important to bring your situation to the attention of The American Civil Liberties Union. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is our nation’s guardian of liberty that defends and protects individual rights that the Constitution guarantees. These rights include freedom of religion, your right to protection against unlawful discrimination, your right to due process and your right to privacy.
The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) was created in 1955 and works every day to improve the lives of people in the workplace. The AFL-CIO calls for diversity of gender, race, ethnicity and work sector. The AFL-CIO helps people who want to join together in unions so they can bargain collectively with their employers for better working conditions. The AFL-CIO ensures that all people are treated fairly with equal opportunities in the workplace.
For more information about Worker’s Rights in NY, visit the Resources page.